Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich Tells the Feds to Back Off the State’s Audit of the 2020 Election

In a June 14 letter Monday, Brnovich called U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s comments last week expressing concern about post-election audits “troubling.”

“Your statements displayed an alarming disdain for state sovereignty,” Brnovich wrote. “My office is not amused by the DOJ’s posturing and will not tolerate any effort to undermine or interfere with our State Senate’s audit to reassure Arizonans of the accuracy of our elections.”

The audit of the vote in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous county, ordered by state Senate Republicans, began in April.

“Arizona will not sit back and let the Biden administration abuse its authority, refuse to uphold laws, or attempt to commandeer our state’s sovereignty,” Brnovich wrote.

Former President Donald Trump has praised the audit and urged other states to launch their own election reviews. (NOTE: The Washington Times, a never-Trumper news source some consider “conservative,” claimed that Trump “continues to make baseless claims that Democrats stole the election from him through widespread voter fraud.”)

GOP Chair Elise Stefanik: Justice Department Is ‘Trying to Block’ Maricopa County Audit

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who was recently elected as the House Republican Conference chair, said the Department of Justice’s questions about the Maricopa County, Arizona, audit of the 2020 election may be unconstitutional.

On May 5, the Justice Department sent a letter to Arizona Senate leader Karen Fann, a Republican, inquiring about the custody of the ballots under review by a group of private contractors, alleging that the group’s other processes—including the canvassing of addresses—could be considered “voter intimidation.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R.-NY)

“I support that audit,” Stefanik said after being asked about it in a Fox Business interview on May 16. “Transparency is good for the American people. And again, this should be a nonpartisan issue, whether you are Republican, Democrat, independent, or conservative, transparency is important, and the audit was passed by the Arizona state Senate.”

Stefanik later said that the “Biden Department of Justice is trying to block that audit,” which, she said, “is unconstitutional from my perspective.”

“Our states, constitutionally, are responsible for writing states’ constitution law,” she said.

Pamela Karlan, principal deputy assistant attorney general with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, wrote to Fann that “the proposed work of the audit raises concerns regarding potential intimidation of voters.”

Fann replied that the plan by election auditors to verify the validity of certain voters had been placed on hold.

“If and to the extent the Senate subsequently decides that canvassing is necessary to the successful completion of the audit, its vendor will implement detailed requirements to ensure that the canvassing is conducted in a manner that complies fully with the commands of the United States Constitution and federal and state civil rights laws,” Fann wrote earlier this month.

The Epoch Times reports that Stefanik’s comments on May 16 came just days after Dominion Voting Systems and Maricopa County officials said they wouldn’t provide passwords for election machines in Maricopa County. Dominion said it would comply with the audit, but that Cyber Ninjas—the company hired by the Arizona state Senate—isn’t accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Stefanik was approved last week in a vote by House Republicans to become the Republican Conference chair—the party’s No. 3 position in the House. She took over after GOP lawmakers voted to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a frequent critic of former President Donald Trump and other Republicans, from the position.

Posted May 17, 2021

Arizona Senate Threatens Subpoenas: Az. GOP Chairman Kelli Ward Offers Update on Maricopa County Election Audit

Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward provides an update on the Maricopa County audit, including the legal battles, in the video below.  Chairwoman Ward outlines how the county board of supervisors has been discovered to have withheld material evidence from the audit despite a court order demanding compliance.

Officials in Maricopa County are refusing to comply with subpoenas from the state Senate that require them to turn over routers or router images to auditors reviewing the November 2020 election. There are certain to be more legal battles ahead as the auditors demand access to all the equipment, including the passwords the county is withholding. Stay tuned.

Posted May 10, 2021

Arizona Gov. Ducey Won’t Accept Election Results Until All Lawsuits Are Settled

PHOENIX, AZ. – Gov. Doug Ducey announced the state’s election isn’t over until all court cases have been settled, as the Trump campaign and state GOP filed lawsuits in Maricopa County in a bid to block officials from certifying the election results due to alleged voter irregularities and improprieties.

“There are legal claims that are being challenged in court and everybody on the ballot has certain access rights and remedies and if they want to push that they are able. Once those are adjudicated and the process plays out, I will accept the results of the election,” the Republican governor said in a news conference on Wednesday. It was the first time he held one since the Nov. 3 election.

Gov. Doug Ducey, R-AZ

Ducey has not called Democratic challenger Joe Biden the winner of the election. The governor noted that he heard about voting issues in the state but hasn’t personally seen any evidence.

Arizona state law gives all Arizona counties until Nov. 23 to certify the results of the election. Then, the counties are to send in their results to the Secretary of State’s office, which then has another 10 days to certify the statewide results. The Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs, has called Trump’s “base” of supporters “neo-Nazis.”

Biden and Trump

While several news outlets have described Biden as the president-elect and declared him the winner, outlets such as The Epoch Times has not, pending the outcome of lawsuits and other processes needed to complete the election and finally declare a winner.

The Electoral College votes next month, and Congress will hold its Joint Session to formally count electoral votes and declare official election results in early January. According to the unofficial vote count, as of Nov. 18, Biden is ahead of Trump by about 11,000 votes in Arizona. Earlier this week, the Arizona GOP moved to halt county officials in the state to delay certifying their results.

“The party is pushing for not only the county supervisors but everyone responsible for certifying and canvassing the election to make sure that all questions are answered so that voters will have confidence in the results of the election,” said Zach Henry, a spokesman for the Arizona Republican Party, reported The Associated Press.

The party also filed a lawsuit to request a hand-count in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, of a sampling of ballots. They also are seeking a court order prohibiting the county from certifying results until that case is decided.

“This case is about delay—not the adjudication of good faith claims,” lawyers for Secretary of State Hobbs said in response, AP reported. Hobbs, a Democrat, also claimed Nov. 18 she is receiving threats of violence following the election, alleging that Trump and other GOP members are spreading misinformation. Hobbs did not provide any evidence for her claims of violence.

-Updated Nov. 19, 2020

Vote ‘NO’ on Proposition 208

Proposition 208 is the wrong plan at the wrong time. It will have far-reaching negative impacts on our economy and cause further damage to small businesses as they continue to battle back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Passing the largest tax increase in Arizona history at our most vulnerable time is the wrong strategy!

Worse, Proposition 208 is being bankrolled by out-of-state special interest groups that are attempting to raise our taxes to the TOP TEN HIGHEST in the country, while ignoring the devastating impacts that will have on our economy.

Some Key Facts About Prop. 208, “Invest in Education Act”

Proposition 208 increases the top individual state income tax rate from the current 4.5% to 8% — a 77.7% increase, vaulting Arizona into the top-10-highest income tax rates in the country. The tax increase dramatically undermines Arizona’s welcoming environment for small businesses, which pay their taxes on the individual portion of the tax code, not the corporate tax code. Fifty percent of taxpayers whose tax rates will be directly targeted are small business owners. (Source: Goldwater Institute.)

“If Proposition 208 passes, small businesses will pay a higher top tax rate than big business—even the Fortune 500—but you wouldn’t know that by watching the proponents’ ads,” No on Prop. 208 Chairman Jaime Molera said.  “The proponents’ ads fail to disclose that Proposition 208 won’t do anything to enhance teachers’ base pay. That’s because the initiative relies on the most volatile slice of tax revenues. No school district would base its budgets and teacher contracts on such an unpredictable source.”

The proposition would funnel millions of dollars into the educational system — yes, system, not classrooms. Tax money collected via Prop. 208 “would be placed in the student support and safety fund, to be used first to pay the administrative costs of implementing, administering and enforcing the measure…”

Whatever is leftover then would be divided by formula via grants to school districts, charter schools, the state education system, etc. “The grant monies could be used for a variety of purposes,” so don’t be surprised if your tax money is used to fund new curriculum in subjects you disagree with. (1619 Project, anyone?)

VOTE “NO” on Proposition 208.